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Old 11-21-2005, 02:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerrycooks
i have heard of mead and I know it is made from honey but what does it taste like?? Can you find it in liquor stores and what is the best flavor?
Educate me please....
Mead can be found in the states at various wine shops and liquor stores.

As for what it looks and tastes like, well, it depends...

A "straight" mead is made just from water, yeast, and honey. It's taste and color will depend largely on what varietal of honey is used. We've had a wonderful macadamia nut blossom mead for Hawaii, it was as pale as any white wine, and had a slightly sweet taste with a hint of macadamia.

A clover honey, or especially something like buckwheat would have a much darker color and heavier flavor.

Then there are the flavored meads, and those are all over the map in terms of taste, flavor, and color.

John
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Old 11-21-2005, 02:30 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ronjohn55
Ken's book is very good. He gets into some very good, scientific detail, but it also has lots of simple advice that minimalist meadmakers like me can appreciate. Plus he's a good guy. Had the opportunity to meet him and talk shop a few times.
I'll definitely pick his book up. It sounds like a good reference to have around. Do you perchance know of any good beer-brewing books I could pick up while I'm at it?

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I'll dig up the pineapple recipe and PM it to you. The only catch is that it's for 5 gallons and takes a while to properly age. Lousy necessary patience!!
That would rock! Thank you very much for your generosity!
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Old 11-21-2005, 03:23 PM   #13
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For brewing books, there are a couple out there right now that I really like.

Papazian's book (The New Joy of Homebrewing) is a good one. It isn't the most technically accurate book, bon't it won't let you take beer brewing too seriously, which is good.

There's one called The Brewmaster's Bible that has a bunch of useful conversion charts in it. Always handy to have around on a brew day to check your numbers against.

Lastly would probably be Ray Daniels' Designing Great Beers. This book focuses on styles and the beers that people have entered and won the national homebrew competition with. If you're going to put together a recipe for a certain type of beer, this will help steer you in the right direction - especially for homebrew competitions.

I've also got a copy of Randy Mosher's Radical Brewing, I'm going to read it over the Holiday break, but I've heard it's very good.

John
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Old 11-21-2005, 06:42 PM   #14
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Cool, thank you for the list. I'm not really interested in competitions, but I'm always interested in experiencing new flavors.
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Old 02-06-2006, 10:17 AM   #15
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Well, I bottled my first batch, the Ancient Orange mead, and I must say, I really enjoy it. It has a nice taste with a very smooth finish and aftertaste.

I now have a pineapple mead going, as well as an apple cider. So far, this is a lot of fun.
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Old 02-07-2006, 06:27 PM   #16
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Darren, that's awesome. being the wine-fiend i am, i keep thinking i need to start fermenting things around here...then i just keep drinking what i bought and decide to leave it to the experts...

but i **looove** mead, probably as a hold-over from the chaucer's served at the TX ren faire. if you ever get a hold of this, buy 2 bottles: one to drink for today, and one to store for a while. it's tough, but force yourself to lay it in, just like a decent bottle of wine, for just under a year. **amazing** how the flavors change in that time, get more complex & mellower, just don't leave it there too long or it'll go off (mead is typically drunk young of course). have fun, and keep updating on how your mead-brewing works out.
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Old 02-08-2006, 09:11 AM   #17
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it's tough, but force yourself to lay it in, just like a decent bottle of wine, for just under a year. **amazing** how the flavors change in that time, get more complex & mellower, just don't leave it there too long or it'll go off (mead is typically drunk young of course). have fun, and keep updating on how your mead-brewing works out.
LOL!

That's why I've always made so much - the shear volume allows for aging!

Maybe it's just the ABVs that I reach, but I have several meads at 3-5 years that are still going strong, even without sulfites! One of the berry ones is turning a bit of a tawny color, and throwing some sediment. It's actually quite a cool process to see over time as the taste changes.

If Darren is using my pineapple recipe for his batch, I think he may find that it will definitely benefit from a year or more of aging. When I bottled it the first time, my notes looked something like this:

Pineapple Mead - Great color, huge pineapple aroma, tastes like cheap vodka!

A year later, it was nirvana (or at least a tropical resort) in a glass!

(Speaking of which, I need to get some pineapples...)

John
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Old 04-06-2006, 09:26 PM   #18
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Well, time to resurrect this topic! I just racked and backsweetened the pineapple mead, and yes, it tastes like cheap vodka. I'm looking forward to it finishing.

I still have some of my first Ancient Orange batch, and I've started on another. My plan for the remainder of the first batch is A) make some vinegar (I purchased a mother) and B) try my hand at a mead reduction sauce for the heck of it.

I love my hobbies.
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Old 04-06-2006, 10:47 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Consul
Shannon, ...

My interests are all over the board. I'm really not a drinker, per se (a glass of wine or Guinness every once in a while), so my interest in making beers and meads is as much for cooking and vinegars as for drinking. I'm looking forward to seeing how this experiment turns out.

I haven't made mead, but I bought the book. I have, however, made wine, softdrinks, apple cider, wine and cider vinagers. Lots of fun. I made a softdrink, that I was taught to make by a Bulgarian friend of mine, call bozza, in which bread yeast was used. You let softdrinks ferment for a fairly short period of time, two days or so, not to hot please if you don't want the caps to fly off, or the bottle to burst.

I make vinager all the time because it's so easy if your are making the same type (apple cider vinager or red wine vinager, etc.). After the first batch you take one part vinager, and you add 2 parts juice, (grape or apple or whatever you have in mind) and you leave 1 part empty (i.e. 1 quart vinager, 2 quarts juice in a 1 gallon container). I use deli jars. I cover them with paper towels and secure them with an elastic band and let it sit for three to six months.

Of couse you have to make the first batch of cider or wine first. The cider is very simple. If you'd like to hear my method just give me a shout...

Take care
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Old 04-06-2006, 11:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Consul
...make some vinegar (I purchased a mother) and B) try my hand at a mead reduction sauce for the heck of it.

... ...
Just to let you know, a mother will form on it's own if you leave your juice in a cool 12-13 C (about 55 F) with a cotton cloth, (I use scott towels), over it. It's best in a non-smoking, clean but not too sterile an environment - too sterile will kill the bacteria your trying to attract.
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